PHILADELPHIA—An arrest has been made in connection to a string of pro-Trump, racist graffiti vandalisms that appeared throughout Philadelphia on November 9, the day after the presidential election.
William Tucker, 58, of Lawnside, New Jersey was arrested on November 22 for the alleged defacement of three vehicles and a home in the South Philadelphia neighborhood of Point Breeze. He is being charged with four counts of criminal mischief, according to the arrest affidavit.
Tucker has been accused of the following defacements, which all appeared near the 900 block of South Sixth Street:
- Spray painting the messages, “Trump Rules” and “Black B—-” on a 2015 Nissan Armada SUV
- Spray painting “Trump Rules’ on the driver’s side of a white Infinti QX60 SUV
- Spray painting the letter “T” on the hood of a white 2013 Lincoln MKX SUV
- Spray painting “Trump Rules” on the side of a building
Tucker has since been released on his own recognizance and is due back in court on Thursday, December 8 for a preliminarily hearing, where he will be represented by a public defender, according to court dockets. If convicted on all counts, Tucker faces a maximum of 28 years in federal prison.
Tucker was caught on surveillance footage at approximately 5 a.m. spray-painting the hood of the 2013 Lincoln MKX. One of the victims, the owner of the 2015 Nissan Armada identified Tucker as her ex-boyfriend, who she dated for eight years, from 2006 to 2014, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The Philadelphia Inquirer, who first broke the story, noted the 62-year-old victim, who is Black suspected it the incident to be a hate crime. The victim, who has not been identified, and her daughter immediately reported the incident to police.
“I went straight to the police station,” the woman told The Inquirer. “They were stunned.”
“You cannot allow people to take your joy away from you. Once they take your joy, then they are in control of you,” she said. “I am not going to allow that to happen. It will all be OK.”
There were two other similar vandalisms—which Tucker has not been charged with—in Point Breeze that same morning, the Philadelphia Police Department confirmed to Canyon News.
At 10:44 a.m., police responded to reports that there was the following message spray painted across the windows of an empty furniture store: a swastika, the words “Sieg Heil 2016,” and the word “Trump” with the ‘T’ replaced by a swastika. November 9 is the anniversary of Kristallnacht, or “The Night of Broken Glass” – when Nazi Germany encouraged pogroms against Jewish sites across Berlin in 1938. At approximately 1:30 p.m., police received a report that a utility box just down the down had “Trump” and a swastika spray-painted on it.